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Why Dual Fuel?

What is a Dual Fuel System?

Before we can talk intelligently about a dual fuel system, we should first define what a dual fuel system is. Simply stated, a dual fuel system is the combination of a gas or oil furnace/boiler that has been combined with a heat pump.

And before we continue, let's be sure we understand what a heat pump is as some people still have difficulty understanding just how a heat pump works. It is confusing at first. How can an air conditioner provide heat?

What is a Heat Pump?

The simplest definition of a heat pump that I know is that in the heating mode, a heat pump is a reverse air conditioner. In the summer, a heat pump is an air conditioner. It extracts heat from within your house and discharges it outside, thereby leaving the air within your home cooler. In the winter, by reversing the flow of refrigerant and its process, it extracts heat from outside of the house and brings it inside where it is discharged through ductwork.

In our area, the heat pump is sized based on your cooling load therefore it might not have enough capacity for the heating load. We compliment it with electric strip heat to meet the heating load/needs of your house.

Reverse Refrigeration

If you take 70 degree air and remove 10 degrees of heat from it, you now have 60 degree air. That's what a heat pump does. Through reverse refrigeration, a heat pump can extract heat from the outside air by compressing it into the refrigerant via the compressor and it can do this more efficiently and cleaner than any other type of system. This system works until the outside temperature gets to about 32 degrees.

What is the Advantage of a Dual Fuel System?Heat Pump

While no other system operates more efficiently and cost effectively than a heat pump within certain temperature ranges, a heat pump's capacity decreases when the outside temperature falls below 32 degrees. It typically has to use electric strip heat (also known as auxiliary heat) to provide the supplementary heat needed at those times.

By combining the efficiency of a heat pump during its peak operating efficiency with a high efficiency gas furnace, oil furnace or boiler for the times when it is less efficient, a Dual Fuel System provides the maximum efficiency, payback and comfort level of all fuels and systems available.

Because electric rates are regulated and constantly monitored by a State Regulating Authority, they are far more stable. This makes the heat pump even more attractive than normal.

Who is Installing Dual Fuel Heating Systems?

The first group are customers who already have furnaces and Heating Furnaceboilers in their homes and whose central air conditioners need replacing. When their air conditioner fails, some consumers are upgrading with a heat pump to work in conjunction with their existing furnace or boiler heating system. This gives them the advantage of a new air conditioner for better cooling comfort and a heat pump (they are the same unit), which can be used most efficiently on those days when the temperature is above 32 degrees.

The second and largest group of homeowners interested in dual fuel systems are those that already have a heat pump and decide to add a high efficiency gas furnace as the backup heat in lieu of using the heat pump's electric strip heat when the temperatures drop.

How Do I Benefit?

If you have an oil or gas system, you can benefit by adding an electric system (heat pump). If you presently have an electric system (heat pump) you can still benefit by adding a natural gas furnace. Dual Fuel heating enables you to add a second heating system to your current system and gives you the appealing alternative to the roller coaster pricing of fuel oil and most gas heating systems because Dual Fuel rates are most likely to remain stable year round.

Contact us for more information or to schedule a sales appointment (without obligation). You can reach us at (757) 600-0422 today! 

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